University of Massachusetts Amherst

Polymer Science and Engineering

Alan J. Lesser

Degree Information:
B.S. Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado, 1982
M.S. Civil Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, 1987
Ph.D. Civil Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, 1989

Mailing Address:
Department of Polymer Science and Engineering
Room A312, Conte Research Center
University of Massachusetts Amherst
120 Governors Drive
Amherst, MA 01003

Phone: 413-577-1316

Email: ajl@polysci.umass.edu

Fax: 413-545-0082

Research Interests:
Deformation and fracture of polymers and composites; Strength and Durability; Micromechanics of polymer blends and composites, nano and molecular composites; Constitutive Modeling of Polymers in complex stress states.

Current Research:
Polymers and polymer-based composites represent the largest and fastest-growing area of materials for engineering and other structurally-demanding applications. However, a significant investment in molecular and morphological design, mechanical and physical property testing and product evaluation is necessary before new materials can be introduced into these applications. The goal of our research group is to develop a new set of theoretical and experimental tools that enable the streamlined design, optimization, selection, and evaluation of polymeric materials for such applications. The research initiatives in our group focus on determining what basic molecular, morphological, and physical characteristics govern the engineering performance of polymers and polymer-based composites. The Lesser research group utilizes unique experimental techniques to probe the mechanical behavior of polymeric materials. One of these techniques includes the use of a tension-torsion test machine specially modified to apply internal pressure to hollow cylinder specimens (show in the Figure). This facility allows for investigations of polymer behavior in controlled multi-axial stress states.

Honors and Distinctions:

  • Editor – Polymer Composites Journal, Society of Plastics Engineers
  • Assoc. Editor – Polymer Engineering and Science Journal, Society of Plastics Engineers
  • Advisory Board- Journal of Applied Polymer Science, Society of Plastics Engineers
  • Society of Plastics Engineers – Advances and Polymer Composites Processing – 1999 Technical Program Organizer
  • Society of Plastics Engineers – ANTEC 2000 – Failure Analysis and Prevention Special Interest Group – Chair
  • The OMNOVA Solutions Foundation Signature University Award for Outstanding Research 2001
  • Society of Plastics Engineers – ANTEC 2003 – Failure Analysis and Prevention Special Interest Group – Chair
  • Gordon Conferences 2004- Elected Vice Chair on Composites
  • Gordon Conferences 2006- Elected Chair on Composites

 

http://www.pse.umass.edu